Milan were triumphant over bottom of the table Salernitana at the weekend, a 2-0 victory with a goal from star-man Franck Kessie who has been linked to numerous big European teams in the last few months. That win saw them leapfrog Napoli to top the table, though city rivals Inter’s victory over Roma has them just one point behind.
Liverpool will be relieved to have walked away with three points at the weekend, a goal from their saviour Divock Origi in the 94th minute goal broke the deadlock between the sides. Diogo Jota will be extremely disappointed that he didn’t get on the score sheet after being a contender for miss of the season.
These teams have only played three matches against each other in their history, most notably in the legendary 3-3 Champions league final back in 2005 seeing Liverpool come back from three down at the interval.
A repeat final happened two years later that saw AC Milan get their revenge in a 2-1 victory, though as big as these games were, they’ll hold far less relevance to the outcome here as the last time these teams played in the first match-week of this UCL. That game finished 3-2 in Liverpool’s favour after club Captain Jordan Henderson got the match winner, though it could be a different story this time round.
AC Milan To Win
This match will be played at the San Siro in Italy. Liverpool have gone to Italy four times since the start of the 2017/18 and have a record of just W1-L3.
Two of those losses came against Napoli in consecutive seasons (2-0 & 1-0), and the other came against Roma (4-2) in the second leg of the semi-finals in the Champions League where they almost forfeited a 5-2 opening leg advantage.
With that said, it’s not as though Milan have the best recent record of hosting English opponents, losing both such games over the same time period to Arsenal and Man United.
The main difference in those previous outings, though, is that they came in a much more competitive environment than this, with both being European knockout games, while Liverpool have already qualified top of this group and will likely field a weakened side owing to a congested festive fixture list.
Milan still have a good chance at qualification, though it requires them taking maximum points from this outing, which is certainly not beyond the realms of belief.
They must also hope that Porto don’t beat Atletico Madrid at the Estadio do Dragao at the same time, though all they can control is what happens at the San Siro. They come into the game off back-to-back victories, and much of that is down to the return of Fikayo Tomori in defence.
The Rossoneri have a 75% win percentage when he starts in the league, and that drops to just 25% when he doesn’t, while goals conceded rises 133% to two per game when the Englishman doesn’t start, so the value is certainly with the hosts here.
AC MILAN TO WIN